On the heels of Peru’s 200th birthday, we feel like celebrating! And as Peru’s top travel agency, our entire team at Kuoda Travel lives and breathes Peruvian pride. In this article, we want to share all of the ways Peru is one of the world’s most exciting travel destinations.
From internationally-renowned cuisine to confounding Inca architecture, family-fun activities, natural magnificence, adventure tours, and a whole lot more, Peru really does have something for anyone looking to make wonderful memories, diving into immersive experiences in Peru!
1. Lots of Adventure!
If you are an adrenaline junkie, or even just someone who likes to sprinkle a little adventure on their travels now and again, look no further than Peru for your next trip. Kuoda’s adventure itinerary is fully customizable (like all of our itineraries), and our travel experts know exactly how to personalize each program to align with your specific adventurous side.
Do you like to kayak or stand-up paddle? You can do both on Lake Piuray in the Sacred Valley, completely surrounded by glaciers. How about tandem paragliding? Lima’s coast offers a magical view for paragliding and surfing, for that matter. For even better surfing, head north to the idyllic beaches of Mancora and Tumbes. Mountain biking in the Andes is another favorite, and of course, trekking.
For multi-day treks, you have a couple fantastic options. The Inca Trail needs no introduction and is one of those authentic experiences that will stay with you for a lifetime. In addition to the Inca Trail, you can embark on the Lares Trek, a community-based hiking experience that allows you to connect with local culture, or the Salkantay Trek to get a look at some of Peru’s sacred glaciers up close.
2. Ancient civilizations – Inca and Pre-Inca
We can’t talk about the wonders of Peru without touching upon the awe-inspiring architecture and artifacts of the Inca Empire and civilizations predating the Incas. Cusco was the former capital of Tahuantinsuyo (the Quechua name for the Inca Empire), so if you’re a history or archaeology buff, you’ll want to spend some time here during your private tour with Kuoda.
The veritable zigzag fortress of Sacsayhuaman can be found on the outskirts of Cusco city. Walking down from Sacsayhuaman, you will encounter living Inca foundations in the city’s historic center. Qorikancha, for example, is an incredible Inca temple that was completely hidden and covered by a Spanish colonial church called Santo Domingo and revealed again during the big earthquake of 1950.
The great mystery remains how exactly they moved the boulders between 90 and 125 tons and then carefully nestled them together without any space peeking through. Their architecture also famously aligns with the natural surroundings and solar calendar; nothing about Inca architecture is by chance. This is especially noteworthy in the Sacred Valley sites and Machu Picchu.
If you want to go further back than the Incas in your travels, you can take a 4–5-day trip up and down the coast from Lima. The ancient civilizations of Chan Chan and Caral lie north of Lima, dating back to 600 and 5,000 years ago, respectively. And the famous Nazca lines, giant geoglyphs permanently etched in the sand lie south of Lima and date back to 2,000 years ago.
3. Commune with nature
In the uncertain age we find ourselves in, and most of the world still in an active battle with COVID-19, we’ve learned that now more than ever is the time to re-connect with nature. Peru offers a unique backdrop for eco-conscious travel because you can get up close and personal with the stoic Andes Mountains, the curious Amazon jungle, and the immense coastal desert all in one trip.
In Peru, nature is still very much in the foreground of daily life for so many people, and this connection is contagious. At Kuoda Travel, we keep this in mind when creating each and every private travel experience, prioritizing regenerative tourism, and allowing space for our guests to travel with purpose.
4. Rich living culture
Peru is a country like too many in this globalized world that still feels the aftershock of some tough institutions extending from the past – namely imperialism, colonialism, colorism, and sexism. But that’s why it’s even more important to reflect on and highlight Peru’s diverse cultural forces that have lifted the country up despite decades of injustices.
Quechua and Aymara communities of the Andes, Amazon indigenous groups, Afro-Peruvian, and Japanese and Chinese-Peruvian citizens come together as the country’s heartbeat. We always aim to honor Peru’s living cultural diversity through our highly personalized programs every step of the journey. In addition, we collaboratively work with local communities so they have a platform to connect with travelers and share their unique stories and cultural heritage.
5. Some of the world’s best food!
Hands down, Peru claims the best food in South America due to diverse cultural traditions, endemic ingredients, and a highly complex flavor profile. Peruvian restaurants dot almost every corner of the globe at this point, so you could seek it out wherever you are, but why not take the opportunity to try the real deal on a private journey to Peru?
One of Peru’s most coveted dishes, lomo saltado, was inspired by Peruvian Chinese restaurants called Chifa. Lomo means tenderloin, and saltado means “jumping.” This dish is cooked in a wok with green onions, tomatoes, Peruvian aji amarillo (yellow chili pepper), onion, soy sauce, vinegar, and oyster sauce, then served with French fries and white rice. It is the ultimate Peruvian stir-fry!
And most superfoods, some you might have already heard about, are geographically from Peru! Quinoa, amaranth (kiwicha), Andean Lupin (tarwi), maca (aka the “Peruvian Ginseng”), Sacha Inchi filled with Omega-3, the Camu Camu fruit chock full of Vitamin C, and over 4,000 varieties of potatoes!
6. The perfect romantic getaway destination
If you are a couple looking to spend your honeymoon or anniversary somewhere unforgettable, Peru should be at the top of your list! Kuoda Travel is the best luxury travel company in Peru, so we know a thing or two about how to make your trip the most romantic it can be – it all comes down to the details.
Imagine a riverside picnic for two in the Sacred Valley, the Andes Mountains on all sides, followed by a couples massage in the award-winning Kallpa Spa in the five-star resort Tambo del Inka. Then you splurge on a luxury train ride on the Hiram Bingham and a night at the Sanctuary Lodge, the only hotel next to the Machu Picchu citadel. And you return to Cusco to your incredible room in Belmond Palacio Nazarenas.
You can also opt for an intimate Amazon cruise in the northern jungle region of Iquitos and finally complete your celebration of love by spending four sun-soaked days on the peaceful Mancora beaches, horseback riding into the sunset.
7. Up-and-coming LGBT destination
LGBT movements continue to inspire positive change throughout South America. The LGBT community of Peru is not only part of this movement but has also been fighting for their rights from the fascinating Amazon city of Iquitos for decades. Iquitos has been a safe haven for LGBT individuals across the country since the 1980s and continues to be a welcome environment to residents and travelers alike.
The 2021 Peru elections have also made history electing the very first openly lesbian congresswoman in Peru, Susel Paredes of the Purple Party. Kuoda Travel not only supports these initiatives pulsing through the country, but we are also members of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) to ensure that all of our guests feel safe during their travels in Peru.
8. A perfect destination for families
In recent years, Peru tourism has not only catered to families but has started to excel at it! As a responsible travel agency, we are sensitive to families’ needs during their trip to make it a fulfilling travel experience for everyone.
Our family tours include interactive half-day activities embedded throughout the itinerary to keep you moving and the little ones engaged. Depending on how old your children are, you could try zip-line, horseback riding, stand-up paddleboarding, river-rafting, chocolate-making, communing with exciting wildlife in the Amazon Rainforest, and more!
Our team of guides is incredible, and we work with quite a few who are great with kids. They know how to bring Peruvian culture and history alive in their storytelling and don’t hold back with the fantastical details. They also know when to pause and let you share these special moments together, creating wonderful memories you’ll cherish as a family for life.
If we haven’t convinced you yet, please contact us, so we can gush even more about the endless possibilities for your curated journey to Peru. This is what we love doing, crafting meaningful experiences for anyone and everyone to connect with our Peru. ¡Qué viva Perú!
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